BJP to hold nationwide Kargil Victory Day celebrations
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Last Updated: Wednesday, July 21, 2010, 20:44
New Delhi: As part of its strategy to reach out to defence and paramilitary personnel, BJP today said it will celebrate Kargil Victory Day on July 26 nationwide by taking out processions, candle-light vigils and paying tributes to the martyrs.

"BJP President Nitin Gadkari will lead senior party leaders in paying respect at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate on July 26. Several senior party leaders will head processions and hold programmes across the country," BJP general secretary Vijay Goel said.

BJP, which has always accused Congress-led UPA of being soft on internal security and cross-border terrorism, wants to send across a message to the masses by celebrating victory over Pakistan during the Kargil war that took place under NDA regime, party sources said.

While the party holds functions on July 26 every year, these are always low-key and confined to Delhi and a few other cities. However, this year the events will be held across the country where memorials were built or in the native places of soldiers killed during the Kargil war, the sources said.

527 defence personnel laid down their lives in the 74-day Kargil war fought against Pakistan in 1999. "The aim of these programmes is not only to express gratitude towards the martyrs, but also to counter attempts by separatists, terrorists and Naxals to break the confidence of defence and security forces fighting in Kashmir, North-East and other parts of the country," Goel said.

The main opposition held a meeting of its top brass yesterday to discuss how to reach out to the families of paramilitary and defence personnel killed in Maoist and terrorist attacks.

"Our MPs will visit the homes of those personnel who are killed in such attacks. While this has been done in the recent past, including leaders visiting those killed in the Dantewada and other Naxal attacks, the plan is to institutionalise this practice," a senior BJP leader added.

MPs will be assigned states and constituencies which they will have to visit to meet family members of those killed by militants and Maoists, the sources said.

With its nationalist agenda and rhetoric against UPA's "soft" attitude towards terrorists, separatists and Naxals, BJP has tried to win over the defence personnel in the past as well.

BJP had also raised the one-rank-one-pension issue in Parliament to lend support to retired defence personnel.


First Published: Wednesday, July 21, 2010, 20:44

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